Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CLIMATE CHANGE: Small Islands Await Haitian-Type Disaster

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 19, 2010 (IPS) - The devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti last week has brought into sharp focus the threat of another natural disaster waiting to happen: a sea-level rise that could obliterate the world's small island states, triggering fears of mass migration.

But contrary to initial reports, the Indian Ocean island of Maldives says it has no plans to relocate its 300,000 inhabitants or purchase land in neighbouring countries to re-settle Maldivians before the impending devastation.

"Maldives does not have a relocation plan and had at no time ever considered relocation to another country, either in the neighbourhood or any other area," Ambassador Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, the permanent representative of Maldives to the United Nations, told IPS.

Still, the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), which includes countries such as Fiji, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu, have not ruled out the possibility of relocating before disaster strikes. More >>>